Drake's Nardwuar Interview: 27 Things We Learned

Drake and 40 during an interview with Nardwuar
Courtesy Photo

Drake and 40 during an interview with Nardwuar.

Drizzy reveals a Beyonce collab didn't make it to 'Views,' where 'The 6' comes from and more.

Gift-giving interviewer Nardwuar headed to the 6 for an in-studio session with Drake and his right-hand producer, Noah "40" Shebib. During the Q&A showdown, the Human Serviette brought back memories of a young Drizzy who used to kiss his fans and considered actress Pam Grier one of his muses. The hour-long interview covered a lot of ground, so here's the SparkNotes on what 40 and the 6 God discussed in Nardwuar's latest.

1. On Biggie

"He made music that had a sound of R&B to it that was aggressive rap music. He played a role in the R&B space of rap music which was important for me. He had a lot of melody in his stuff." - 40

"Big has my favorite cadence. The approach that he took to every joint that he got on was incredible. I was a huge Big fan, definitely." - Drake 

2. On being called "a b-tch" for having a Common CD

"Kool G Rap is one of my favorite rappers of all time... 'Cause Common had a soft little run but I really liked that one CD that he had, which I can't even remember what it was called. I would just rub my boys and be like, 'That's what you're on?' Listen, I'm a diehard Common fan. Resurrection is one of the reasons I got into making rap music. Like that's a song that I fell in love with that like brought me on this journey. And Can I Borrow A Dollar?, I have that on wax and CD ... When I was in Grade 9, [my boys] were clowning me." - 40

3. On the "Hotline Bling" sample

"Timmy Thomas' 'Why Can't We Live Together,' this is what we sampled for 'Hotline Bling.' This was such a great record. I actually discovered the sample, to be completely honest, after the fact so I really actually fell in love with the song after I heard the beat. It was almost like a daunting task at that point to even think of sampling this but it's an incredible song and such a great gift because this is actually in my top favorite songs, top 10 or 20 songs of all-time." - Drake

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4. On Vybz Kartel

"Vybz Kartel is one of my biggest inspirations, one of my favorite artists. You want to talk about a guy coming out of a place that has their own thing, their own culture and absolutely taking over, becoming the one person to idolize. I been to Jamaica when the Gully Gaza thing was going on, was there before, was there after and no matter what, people are always holding up Vybz as an icon. Big up Vybz, man. He's definitely an inspiration to myself and Partynextdoor." - Drake

5. On almost getting arrested with Mavado

"Yeah, kind of. I almost did get arrested because in Jamaica, at a stage show, the way police monitors shows is that they don't try to incite the crowd so they don't like you to swear and obviously, my first thing, I was just excited to be in Jamaica so I started cussing up a storm and they were about to arrest me but luckily, I think Beenie Man and a bunch of people were there, they just kinda tried to explain to the police that I didn't understand. Big up to all the guys that were there that night 'cause they saved my life. That was a wild night. Mavado came and picked me up in a caravan of cars with somebody -- I won't say her name but I was with somebody that night and it was our first time ever going out together and needless to say, she did not stick around. She definitely left and never spoke to me again." - Drake

6. On his love for dancehall

"I am into any dancehall, any reggae, conscious, whatever, it doesn't matter I'll listen to anything. I feel like the writing, the melodies and the layering of the music in the genre is incredible." - Drake

7. On 40's godmother making a record

"Dinah Christie is my sister's godmother. That's mind-blowing. I can't sit here and tell you everything about Dinah Christie, other than the fact that I love her with my heart like family because she is family and from the age of 3 years old, she was in my house and I knew her and loved her." - 40

8. On 40's father, Donald Shebib

"I can say he's a very wise man, somebody who's always there with gems for us along the way. He provides us with guidance. He's just an incredible guy, a genius, a great filmmaker." - Drake

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9. On working with Dr. Dre

"We have a long history with Dr. Dre. We were blessed enough to be part of the Record One troops and we had our experience, being part of that. It was definitely nerve-wracking, we were young but we tried our best. We did what we did. [Laughs] I don't know if anyone's tracks ever surfaced but there was a lot of music back then and I got to work with Snoop Dogg in that time. I got to work with a bunch of people. It was a big honor." - Drake

10. On Mac Dre

"This is a guy who, again, I idolized because he's from a place and that place that he's from, which is the Bay Area, hold him to legendary status and I respect if you're a legend where you're actually from. It's cool to be popular in the world but if you're a legend where you're actually from, they actually love you where you're from and they say that nobody else is better than you, I respect you..." - Drake (who now owns two Mac Dre bobblehead figurines)

11. On Memphis

"I used to eat at the Piccadilly with my family but Shelby Drive is a street that I probably spent a lot of time on, a lot of summers when my mom would let me go out there and Memphis is a really dear place in my heart, especially with the music that I make." - Drake

12. On running into Three 6 Mafia when he was younger

"I was a huge Three 6 fan. Again, a group of guys that were from somewhere that didn't have a sound and they created a sound. I'm a huge Juicy fan, a huge Paul fan. I really got to meet the guys later on in life but I'm a big Three 6 fan. Three 6 just had a whole movement, they had a bunch of artists popping up. They were doing something that hadn't been seen in Memphis, making money that had never been seen from rap in Memphis." - Drake

13. On meeting Yo Gotti

"My cousin's boyfriend at the time was managing Yo Gotti so I was probably about 15 and I got to go to the house where they recorded at and they took me to the club. That was probably the most I'd ever seen with my two eyes of like, oh, this rap stuff really works. They looked like the richest guys in the world to me. I had never seen so many cars, so much jewelry, so much everything -- they just had the city locked down. That was actually at the time where I think they were butting heads with Three 6 but it was just an amazing time to be there. I got to witness all of it ... Yo Gotti showed me a lot about what's possible in your own city." Drake

14. On Divine Brown's "Twist My Hair (Remix)" brought Drake and 40 together

"My first writing credit. First song I produced on a real album. I was [Divine's] engineer. I was engineering her album and she believed in me enough to give me a chance to produce a record and she used one of my records and this was it. That's the first day I met Drake. Saukrates brought him because Saukrates produced all the records on this album and I produced ["Twist My Hair" remix] so he got Drake in to come and do a remix. Drake and Boi-1da came to the studio and it was the first day I met Drake." - 40

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15. On Kardinal Offishall

"One of my fondest memories was walking through the Yorkdale Mall right by the Bay and the old Harry Rosen ... turning the corner and seeing this guy standing what looked like at the time 7'5'', fur Kangol and Adidas tracksuit. He was the biggest rapper in the city. I don't know who I was with but I turned to the person I was with and said, 'I'm gonna be bigger than that guy one day.'" ... He was, to me, larger than life in that mall. It wasn't an offensive thing, it was something to strive for. I wanted to be bigger than that because prior to that, we had seen him come out at Rock The Caribana with Jay Z and he had songs ringing off across the world. He was our guy. He was the first one to be a star boy from out here." Drake

16. On the origins of the term "The 6"

"Jimmy [Prime] definitely out there doing his thing. At the time, Oliver [North] and Jimmy were brainstorming about something and they had come up with the title together Views From The 6 and I had asked Oliver if I could use the title because I really liked the title. Oliver had come up with it but yeah I give all the credit to Jimmy. He was definitely part of that process, finding the right title for the album and obviously, that title birthed a whole movement for the city.Drake

17. On sampling The Winans

"I put it at the end of "Summer 16" for that particular release but it actually is part of another song on the album. That sample that I did use has just been something ... Emotionally, I would listen to that sample on loop. Me and 40 have had that sample for a really long time, just figuring out where to place it because the music these guys make and that particular sample means a lot to me." Drake

18. On Larry Graham

"The last time I saw this record was in Kanye's studio. I think I posted a picture of it ... He's a smooth cat. Again, he's just part of that era where you just had to do your thing. And he's always repping that chain, which obviously is our last name "Graham" so he's part of my family. Kanye sampled him for "No More Parties in L.A." ... Me and Kanye live up the street so he shared that information with me. It was cool, it was something we were able to bond over 'cause it was my family and he shared that experience with me so shout out to Larry and of course, shout out to 'Ye for always finding a way to bring back classics 'cause that guy's ear is insane." - Drake

19. On "Back To Back" 

"Back To Back" was what it was. It was a reaction to somebody trying to challenge my integrity and that's pretty much what's gonna happen anytime that happens. It is what it is. I did what I had to do." - Drake

20. On Spinner's rap

"It was the first time I got to showcase rap on television. I think they gave me an opportunity after that to write a real song myself. I don't think I wrote those bars, believe it or not. That was the first time rap showed its face on Degrassi." - Drake

21. On keeping bras in a trunk

"When my tour manager was a wonderful lady named Tina, she would keep a collection of bras for me in a trunk and it became a thing to throw bras on stage. Then I think it became a thing for a lot of artists so I let it go." - Drake

22. On his love for Pam Grier

"I love Pam Grier. I still lust after Pam Grier to this day. I tried to find her, I tried following her on Twitter and Instagram but I don't think it's the real her. She was one of my first muses ... She shaped what my idea of a woman was as far as curves, shape and body and Pam Grier's what I fell in love with as a young guy." - Drake

23. On Cam'ron and Ma$e

"Two guys I wanted to be, growing up. They had their city away. Just guys who brought new energy to the city. It's surreal to watch those guys. How much money can one guy have? How fly can they be? Cam and Ma$e were epic. And Loon, don't forget about Loon. Everybody wants to forget about Loon but Loon was a part of that." - Drake

24. On Like Mike

"This movie and this time in my life was also crazy because when you were younger, you wanted to be as big as Bow Wow. All the girls wanted Bow Wow. Bow Wow had 106 & Park. It was like Justin Bieber fanatic. And this movie was just legendary." Drake

25. On a Beyonce record that didn't make Views

"We did a song that didn't make the album..." Drake

26. On his relationship with Golden State Warriors' Steph Curry

"He played one-on-one with his brother-in-law [at my house]. I played Steph in ping pong that night, too. Steph is like family to me. One of my best friends that works for me is Ayesha's cousin. Steph is married to Ayesha so we're all like family. To watch that guy play -- and he was playing in Prada dress shoes if I'm not mistaken, needless to say I don't think his brother-in-law scored at all ... And Steph's one of those guys if you have a basketball court in your backyard, he's gonna put up some shots because that's his life." Drake

27. On his ties to Bun B

"[He's like a] father figure to me. Bun was one of the first people to give me that acceptance from Houston when I did records like "November 18" and "Uptown" and Bun was the one to stamp it. Bun's a guy that any new talent, he's always there to lend his advice, always there to give a feature if he enjoys the music and supports it, he'll come out to your show. Bun will do whatever he can to keep the culture going. I honored Bun B at HAW last year and if I could honor him every year, I would because he's that guy." Drake

Unpack the entire interview where he also discusses Lil Wayne's birthday parties, his go-to strip clubs in Houston, Jay Z's "Pop Style" intro, being a Channing Tatum fan, missing the Grammys for King of the Dot rap battle, his Views cover and more below.